2015 Domaine de l’Hortus Grande Cuvée Pic Saint Loup, Languedoc, France
The Grande Cuvée by the famous Domaine de l’Hortus comes under the Pic Saint Loup Coteaux du Languedoc AOC appellation.
After fermentation and 25-30 days of maceratin, the wine was aged for 18 months in 225L and 400L French oak wine barrels.
This 2015 vintage comes at 13,5% alcohol by volume.
This Languedoc red comes in a dark red color. Not so dense but still pretty intense. Very dark red to the core, vibrant red with hints of an orange hues to the rim.
The nose is powerful yet refined, clearly dominated by oaky notes of toasted hazelnut, vanilla and a touch of wood smokiness. Ripe orange melon, with very ripe pomegranate give the aromatic profile a sense of rich fruitiness helped by some tart cherry and blackberry tones.
The palate bursts in powerful and exuberant flavors. Yes, this is one very concentrated wine, abundantly throwing a wealth of aromas and flavors your palate’s way as you taste it.
What strikes most is the spiciness. The wine feels very peppery, somewhat like a green pepper sauce, the one that pairs so well with a grilled steak. Yet, there is also a heap of ripe and cooked red berry notes as well. Also reminding of a classic redberry sauce to go with a smoky piece of meat (Grand Veneur sauce we call it in French). I guess there is plenty of meatiness to this wine too, for me to refer to meat dishes this way.
Despite the obvious aromatic and flavor concentration, the wine feels lighter and with less body than you’d expect given how pungent and richly-scented it tastes. The oaky notes of wood smoke and oak are a little obvious at this stage. But let’s not forget this is a very young wine.
A multi-faceted red wine bursting with an abundance of flavors, taking you through a fascinating tasting journey, stretched between ripe jammy red berry fruit and green pepper chili-like spiciness, with oaky notes trying to link up the whole, not yet successfully so for now.
When to Drink?
Give the wine 2-3 years to integrated the oak further and see what it turns out to be. Should age well for 10 to 15 years (drink between 2020 and 2030).